Quote from Slobgob
But I don't feel the same anymore. My post-op CABGx4 had boarderline HTN and I felt reluctant to walk him. My AICD was doing perfect, lab-test ordered for escort without tele, but I still wanted a nurse escort. In the end, I acted the same... but my mind told me different.
My question is... does it change your thinking? Are you more cautious after this kind of ordeal... or do you get use to it? Does that increased awareness make your a stonger nurse... more thorough in your questioning/assessment?
Is there a silver lining to this ugly cloud?
I totally understand what you're saying. About 1/2 way through my orientation I experienced my first unexpected
patient death. He was an ER patient presenting w/chest pain - EKG was OK, no elevation in cardiac enzymes, slightly hypertensive ... was going to be admitted & have a stress test in the morning. Suddenly, his heart rate dropped to the 40s, rhythm totally changed, and then the next minute he was arresting. I had been joking w/him & his family as I awaited his admission orders ... and then there we were in a code. Despite "ideal" circumstances for attempting resuscitation (crash cart 3 feet away, IV access already established, etc.) we did not get him back.
Yes, it scared the crap out of me, and I will not forget him or his family.
I think that experience was part of the process of my fully understanding & accepting the responsibility I had chosen to take on. It was also a demonstration, IMO, of the limits of medicine to affect the outcome of life/death.
Your increased caution is not unreasonable. My "comfort level" has become more fluid as I've gotten more experience.
Here's wishing you a better day today.